Sunday 15 March 2020

As I was saying

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and 

Enough already.

I posted my last Salvēte! blog in January 2017, on the day Trump was elected 45th President of the United States. I felt at the time that there were bigger fish to fry, more pressing issues to address, other priorities. My blog - not only about books, but mostly - seemed to me to be an indulgence.  Dig around and see for yourself, if the fancy takes you.

Since then I've done a lot of other writing, usually for money but sometimes - like now - for love.

Love for writing, and for independent publishers and for their authors, and their authors' books. For the past decade or so my life as a reader has been enriched tremendously by strange and wonderful novels and poetry collections and essays by authors new to me, from publishers I've come to regard as cultural staples. In a garish world of corporate bullshit there is something uniquely untainted and beautiful about indie publishers and the authors they support.

This revived blog will promote new books from small independent presses in the UK, Ireland and elsewhere. That's it, and that's all, because that's what I know about, what I care about and what I can do.

I'm an author and critic with regular bylines in the Times Literary Supplement and Literary Review and various print and online publications. For the past two years I've had a bully pulpit in The Idler magazine in which I bang on about favourite publishers and their backlists. More recently I've had fun organising one-off literary cabarets in London, working with some dazzling literary and musical and theatrical talents. But that's on hold for the time being, obviously. More about them when the time comes

Before the next blog (featuring porky prime cuts of forthcoming indie press releases) here, in a blaze of shameless self-promotion, are links to some of my TLS reviews of indie press titles:

PHARRICIDE by Vincent de Swarte trans. by Nicholas Boyle (Confingo)

HAPPINESS AND TEARS The Ken Dodd Story by Louis Barfe (Head of Zeus)

MACHINES IN THE HEAD Selected short prose by Anna Kavan (Peter Owen)

LUCIA by Alex Phoebe (Galley Beggar Press)

PLAYING POSSUM by Kevin Davey (Aaargh!Press)

IN THE ABSENCE OF ABSALON by Simon Okotie (Salt)

 spill simmer falter wither by Sara Baume (Tramp Press)

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